An apology to Jesse Jackson

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As much as I hate to admit it, Jackson got it right when he accused Obama of “talking down to Black people.” Everyone, including myself, eviscerated him for making the comment and accused him of being jealous of Obama. How can we forget when Obama spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner a couple years ago and told Blacks to “stop complaining?” Obviously, Jackson saw something in Obama early that the rest of us missed. Now, we are paying the price for it, especially Blacks.
Jackson was also right on point with his prediction about the changing U.S. relations with the Middle East. Our relationship with Israel has never been more volatile than it is now.
The Blacks in America—along with a good number of Whites—wanted so badly to show the world that in 2008 our country could be held up as the model for true democracy and equality. America wanted to prove that anyone, regardless of background, who played by the rules and had a vision, could finally be president of the United States.
To his credit, Jesse Jackson saw beyond the rhetoric and somehow had the ability to see deep inside of Obama’s soul and tried to warn us, however clumsy, of what we were getting. So, Rev. Jackson, again I was wrong and you were right. You saw a level of arrogance and detachment from the Black community that most of us were blinded to—or didn’t want to see.
You knew he would not pay attention to the high unemployment rate in the Black community. You knew he would not spend much political capital on the high murder rate in Chicago. You knew he would continue to talk down to Black people. You were rightly ostracized for the way you expressed yourself back in 2008. But on the issue of Obama’s disdain for Blacks; you must be embraced and brought back into the fold.
We wanted Obama to win on many levels. But Jesse Jackson, you have taught us that we should never allow emotions to cloud our judgment. I’m not always right, but I am rarely wrong—and this time, I was definitely wrong.
(Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, http://www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.)

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